UPDATE 4:37 p.m. Monday, November 4, 2019 - Pacific Gas & Electric has agreed to extend by two months the deadline to file claims against the company for damages suffered from a series of wildfires in California.
Lawyers for the victims asked to extend the original Oct. 21 deadline, arguing that tens of thousands of people eligible to receive payments from PG&E have not sought compensation.
They said many wildfire survivors - still traumatized and struggling to get back on their feet - weren't aware of their right to file a claim.
PG&E attorney Tim Cameron said Monday the deadline will be extended to Dec. 31 to increase participation. The new date must still be approved by a judge.
The utility has set aside $8.4 billion to pay wildfire victims as part of its bankruptcy plan.
CALIFORNIA - Those impacted by 2017 and 2018 California wildfires are getting more time to file for compensation from PG&E blamed for the fires.
After reports that many fire victims had not filed claims by last week's deadline, PG&E is working on setting an extension date for those who want to file. There is a hearing set to take place on Nov. 13 to further decide the exact date of a deadline.
CBS News reports that the utility on Monday said PG&E had received approximately 70,000 claims and processed 45,000, with another 20,000 to 25,000 claims waiting to be processed.
"I think we ought to be able to do 90% or more," U.S. District Judge James Donato said in a court hearing on Monday. "I think that should be realistic in a case like this."
During a hearing last week, lawyers for victims said that less than half of those eligible had filed claims, prompting criticism that PG&E has not done enough to reach out to victims.